Sorry, no pictures of this. Surely, there must be a TMI limit…
When I first found out I had to have a hysteroscopy to see what was going on with my uterus (it was discovered during my HSG that “something” was amiss), I was frustrated and mad. Frustrated because this journey to motherhood seems to be continuously delayed by one roadblock after another. Mad because — as I’ve said before — I don’t care for all the science needed in making my dream of becoming a mom a reality, and here I was: having to undergo yet another medical procedure.
Truth be told, my female parts are tired. Tired of being poked and prodded. Tired of opening for every Tom, Dick, and Harry that needs to “take a look.” Tired of being told something’s wrong with them. First, it was the fibroid discovery. Then, it was the ovarian cyst that had to be drained. Next, it was the endometriosis scare. The early ovulation. The unsuccessful embryo implantation. The inability to carry my twins past 17 weeks. The D & C. The HSG. The SHG. The hysteroscopy.
And now: The uterine catheter that’s currently inside — and outside — of me. Inside, keeping my uterus open and its walls apart. Outside with its tubes for draining the blood.
So, how did it come to this?
After I miscarried my twins, I had to have a D & C. This standard procedure left scar tissue on my uterine walls, also common. This scar tissue needs to be removed so that a future embryo can safely and properly implant and grow in my uterus. And in order to prevent more scar tissue from forming, the walls of my uterus have to be kept apart, which is where the catheter comes in.
It’s called a Folley catheter, and it works like a balloon to keep my uterus open. It’s filled with some saline solution so that it expands enough to prevent the walls of my uterus from touching each other. It has a long tube that extends out of my vagina. This tube has a cap on the end of it, and it’s fastened to my inner thigh with a Velcro strap that is taped to my leg.
The whole thing is very disturbing to look at.
Every few hours, I have to drain the blood and fluid by unfastening the tube from my leg, taking off the cap, and allowing the tube to dangle downward so that the blood and fluid can pass. The catheter will be inside of my for an entire week, unless (as I was told) it comes out on its own before then.
Like I said: The whole thing is disturbing.
The hysteroscopy itself wasn’t that bad. It was an outpatient procedure. They gave me anesthesia, I woke up, and it was over. The doctor was able to successfully remove the scar tissue, so that’s good. My bleeding is minimal, and I’m not in any pain. So that’s good, too.
It’s just that I have this terribly awkward and uncomfortable inside-of-me-outside-of-me thing hanging from my vagina for the next seven days.
Good God. Will it ever end?
Read more of Aela’s writing at Two Moms Make A Right.